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For media not to censor, it is necessary to detach from any relationship with public leadership
What happened with Semana Magazine in the last few days has put Colombia in the lead. The fact that a media of such renown has ended the column of Daniel Coronell, one of its best journalists, for having questioned it for not publishing an investigation that could affect the current government, shows that not even the media with the best content journalists really advocate for freedom of expression and press. In addition to censorship, it is worrying to know that the great informants of the country can have political relations that dominate the information, which would leave in doubt the credibility of the medium and of journalism in general.
Leer en español: ¡No más medios politizados!
Although journalistic objectivity is unattainable by the simple fact that we live in the middle of the reality that we narrate, the need to inform the public must prevail over personal interests. In this measure, censorship would be the most serious lack of that need to know the truth.
Now, the problem of censorship is not only that it exists, but that we attack it only when it affects us. Ensuring free expression should not be a matter of convenience; it is not only about when I agree with the person who is being censored. On the contrary, democratic work is to defend it fully. Thus, no matter who says it, how he says it or what he says, respect for his word must prevail. This, of course, as long as human dignity is respected.
Social networks are a clear sign that respect the opinion of the other is only fulfilled when what you say goes with what I think. Twitter, for example, is the cradle of hatred, intolerance and, of course, censorship. There, everyone blocks who thinks differently, and endless fights are formed as a result of an opinion and a position. In that sense, to be able to express yourself, it would be better not to say what you think.
This is how, from something so simple and so small, censorship and its opportune relativism begin. The same goes for journalism, on a much larger scale, given the importance of its work in society. So, the fight against censorship becomes more an empty social discourse and that, more and more, would affect that need to know the truth, to inform society, and to create awareness.
However, censorship ends up being only a consequence of a larger problem that exists in the media: the lack of independence. How to believe a media when it rubs shoulders with certain political leaders? It is just at that moment, when political influences mix with interests, that information and truth are harmed.
When the media censors a topic, a publication, or a journalist, you have to look more closely at what happens. Why do they do it? or, rather, by whom do they do it? This lack of independence has no more motives than individual and petty interests that, perhaps without realizing it, end up damaging the same medium, because audiences will take longer to believe something that is said to them. That, after all, not only affects its owners, but the entire society, which no longer believes in its own reality. Where is democracy in a half-informed society?
LatinAmerican Post | Editorial Team
Translated from "¡No más medios politizados!"